All Articles Tagged "media"
Well, talk about taking the easy way out.
On Friday, reports surfaced that Chris Brown had a seizure while at a recording studio. There were few details about what caused it but the news was that he’d suffered from them as a child.
Well, now we have our answer: if you’ve ever said something bad about Breezy, it was your fault.
That’s right, according to TMZ, Brown is blaming his seizure on the people who bring him down. They contacted his rep and received the following response when asked what triggered it:
It was due to “intense fatigue and extreme emotional stress, both due to the continued onslaught of unfounded legal matters and the nonstop negativity.”
He must have forgotten that it is his temper that seems to flare to the “Nth power” as soon as someone says something he doesn’t like. He must have forgotten that during that car accident situation from a couple of months ago, he was the one who gave false information.
So, we’re sorry, Chris, if you decided that you wanted to act like a member of a new millennium version of NWA and have given us no reason to really like you anymore. We’re sorry that you won’t take a break to get yourself together so that you know how to deal with pressure a bit better.
But please, spare us the sob story and be accountable.
That said, we don’t wish the worst on anyone so we truly hopes he finds out what triggered the seizure and can get it under control. There are many of us who know what stress can do to the body (and we don’t doubt that he has a lot of it) so maybe if he can get to a place where he finds some peace – because we know people will never stop talking – this type of thing won’t happen again.
In college, I couldn’t wait each month for the new issues of women’s magazines to hit the newsstand. I’d rush to get the latest copies of Glamour, Mademoiselle, Elle, Allure, Vogue, Cosmo. Sure, I drooled over the fashions and give myself a makeover with the new season’s beauty tips, but I also devoured the articles, which covered everything from vital health issues to life-changing experiences. The articles were informative, inspiring and insightful. They were also well-written, serious journalism.
But for some, serious journalism doesn’t equate with women’s magazines, and recently Slate pondered why. Port magazine’s discussion last month on the importance of print magazines was void of input from women’s magazine editors who are mostly women, and, by the way, get paid $15,000 less than male editors, according to Folio magazine’s annual compensation survey. (h/t) Insulted by the Port omission, editors and contributors to women’s magazines launched a hashtag — #womenatlength — to share their greatest works on Twitter. And Slate went on to theorize that the reason why men don’t take women’s publications seriously is due to article length; men’s mags tend to run longer (and thus presumably more in-depth) articles. And, as the site points out, we know the value men give to length.
Moreover, the sales for magazine’s targeted to women continue to drop. Magazine sales were down across the board 8.2 percent in the second half of 2012, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. But it is the women’s magazine segment that suffered the most. “Among the top 25 magazines according to newsstand sales, women’s titles and celebrity glossies took the deepest dives,” reports WWD. Cosmopolitan, Hearst’s highest-selling magazine, dropped 18.5 percent to 1.2 million copies, Glamour declined 14.5 percent to 402,000 copies, and Elle declined 11.8 percent to 213,000. Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue also dropped.
Consumers might not be buying print versions of women’s magazines not because they are not impressed with the quality or interested by the topics, but could be lured away by electronic versions. That’s what Shafonne Myers, founder and CEO of Pretty Pear Bride for plus-sized brides, thinks.
“I’ve seen a significant drop in our print sales, granted we are not distributed in stores across the globe but we have a large online presence and we have experienced a tremendous growth in our digital magazine downloads as compared to our print magazine sales,” Myers tells us. “Honestly, I think it is because women are just more comfortable with digital magazines and enjoy the convenience of having the magazines immediately, especially in the bridal realm. It’s way easier for a bride to be able to flip through a digital bridal magazines and pin what she likes or share it with her friends, planner, hairstylist, etc. if it’s digital.”
Myers might be on to something. A recent MPA Magazine Media Readers and Smartphones survey found 84 percent of those polled read digital magazines on their cell phones, with women being a significant segment. “Apple iPhones are dominant at 61%, especially among women (64%) versus men (58%) and higher [household] income consumers — 70% for $100,000+ compared to those making under $50,000 (52%).” Magazine readers aged 18-to-34 were polled in 2012.
As sales do continue to drop, you would think the magazines would start trying to reach a broader audience. Where is the outreach to women of color? It certainly isn’t being done with print magazines. Take a look at the round of September covers—not a woman of color of any of the mammoth fall issues. I myself no longer rush to the stands to get a print magazine. Though I miss turning down the page corners of fashions I love, I find myself turning more to the Web and bookmarking. On the web I can find various media outlets that speak to me, cover people I want to read about, write about issues that I, as a black woman, want to ponder. Though not as physically satisfying as turning the pages and holding a magazine in hand, the stories I now read on the Web are stimulating my brain and my emotions in ways that traditional women’s magazines aren’t.
You know your news broadcast has problems when Don Imus feels entitled to criticize it. CNN continues to feel the heat resulting from their coverage of the manhunt for the teenage suspect in the Boston Marathon attack, which both erroneously reported that there had been an arrest before there was one, and reported that the suspect was a “dark-skinned male.”
“I just want to know what happened,” Imus said on the air today. “Just tell me what happened.” (He calls their reporting “hyper-bolay”… LOL.)
And once again, Jon Stewart went in mercilessly on CNN on The Daily Show, not just for the content, but for the seeming disorganization between the reporters and the control room in their ongoing race to report all the things they don’t know.
But pay the facts no nevermind, say the viewers. Reports The New York Times:
CNN averaged 2.9 million viewers for its daylong coverage, behind the 3.2 million who watched Fox News. But among viewers between the ages of 25 and 54, which is how advertisers buy commercials on news channels, CNN had 1.34 million viewers, compared with 952,000 for Fox News. In both cases those were the best numbers for CNN for all nonpolitical events since April 2003, when the channel was covering the Iraq war.
The question is whether this a momentary bump or something the network can carry through. More than that, there’s the issue of CNN’s reputation. Already tarnished for their bloopers while reporting the Supreme Court decision on President Obama’s healthcare plan (CNN said it had been struck down), the reporting last week definitely didn’t help. In this column by the Times‘ David Carr, he notes that people want CNN to succeed, but “hugely embarrassing” incidents like the one last week undermine it. And they’re messing up at a time when people are paying attention to the changes that new president Jeff Zucker is putting into place. Carr writes:
Part of the reason that we still want CNN to be great is that at a moment when information and news seem to have done a jailbreak — bursting forth everywhere in all sorts of ways — it would be nice to have a village common where a reliable provider of news held the megaphone. By marketing itself as the most trusted name in news, CNN is and should be held to a higher standard.
And for his efforts, John King remains on the air. He addressed his coverage on Twitter, and it’s worth noting that other outlets, including the AP, said they had sources stating an arrest had been made. And King said he also had sources telling him the suspect was dark-skinned. Now he’s off to Texas to interview President George W. Bush about his new presidential library, which will be opening on May 1.
“The challenge for us is how to make CNN more essential, how to make it one of the four tires on the car,” Zucker said at an Atlanta Press Club event last month. To be more essential, the network has to be more careful and less ridiculous.
For several months in 2011, the world of hopeful romantics was tilted on its axis. Rumors swirled and swelled and were splashed across gossip sites and magazines “reporting” the end of Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s then-15 year marriage. Pinkett-Smith finally addressed the hearsay head on with French magazine Gala: “Every year, one celebrity couple is under the microscope. This year, unluckily, it’s us!”
Well, it’s a new year, and an unlikely couple has taken The Smith’s unfortunate spot. A pair of gaffes by President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama has drawn new scrutiny upon their 20-year marriage and folks have been steadily weighing in.
The president’s “big” gaffe
During a recent speech at a Democratic National Committee luncheon in California, President Obama gave a “shot out” to California Attorney General Kamala Harris. “She’s brilliant and she’s dedicated, she’s tough,” Obama said. “She also happens to be, by far, the best-looking attorney general … It’s true! C’mon,” he added.
The remark was swiftly derided in many circles. Writing for New York magazine, Jonathan Chait called Obama’s comments “disgraceful.” ”Women have a hard time being judged purely on their merits,” he wrote. “Discussing their appearance in the context of evaluating their job performance makes it worse.”
Yet for others, it was nothing worth noting. At The Washington Post, Jonathan Capehart scoffed at criticism of the president’s remarks, suggesting that detractors “lighten up.”
The president apologized to Harris anyway, the same night.
The first lady calls herself “single,” the press runs with it
However, it was a misstep by the first lady on the same day that turned up the attention on the state of the first marriage. Mrs. Obama described herself as a “busy single mother” during a recent television interview, but quickly corrected her mistake. “You know, when you’ve got the husband who’s president, it can feel a little single — but he’s there,” Obama told a CBS local station. She then described herself as a “busy working mom” instead.
New York’s Daily News referred to these twin slips of tongue as “double trouble for the First Family,” stirring up an air of negative innuendo around the Obama’s relationship. Some commenters on the highly-covered story even wondered how Mrs. Obama felt about his public compliments of another woman — especially in the context of misstating herself as being a “single mom.”
As much as I love to generate a juicy story on an otherwise slow news day, there’s not much to see here, folks. These slip ups don’t reveal anything about the Obama marriage other than that the participants in it, despite their fame, are regular folks who make ill-timed comments and may struggle to find a work-home balance just like the rest of us.
Read more on TheGrio.com.
My 3-year caught only glances of Beyonce’s halftime performance at the Super Bowl. But with the little she did see, she thought she had gone to heaven. While performing some of Beyonce’s dance moves and gestures, she would tell me, “Mommy! She’s amazing!” “What’s her name?” And, “Mommy, look at me!”
Beyonce is an impressive woman, even if her outfits are a little risque for my tastes. But, in the seeming absence of others, the power she yields as the most attractive role model for my daughters is a bit scary. And my sentiments are shared by many moms of color I know, moms who cringe at what seems to be the most readily available “role models” in the media for their daughters.
The power of the media as a source for role models for young girls has been well documented. And it’s generally acknowledged that while parents can aim to shield their children from the parts that they dislike about the media, total denial of its relevance and power is not possible. So, where does this leave parents?
I asked myself this question and was left with only one alternative: If I can’t reject all of what my daughters see and interpret as being role model material in the media, I can ensure that I provide an alternative voice for them to see the kinds of role models that I would hope they aspire to become someday. I can’t control everything, but I can:
1. Limit screen time. As a parent, I can be sure to monitor and, in some cases, limit what my daughters see on TV. In place of the screen, I can be sure that we spend more time doing other things in our local community that will enable my daughters to see women of color doing fabulous things like being florists, doctors, congresswomen, business owners, scientists, or dance teachers.
2. Use some innocent propaganda. Propaganda isn’t always a bad thing, right? That’s what I thought and that’s why I’ve been spending time online and in my community finding great videos, shows, songs, and children’s books showing women and girls of color in a variety of roles. We love Doc McStuffins and Lil’ Bill on Nick Jr. and use YouTube to find clips of singers like Alicia Keys and India.Arie spending time with Elmo. My daughters and I read Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen and The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Cole for bedtime.
3. Be sure to seek out and verbally recognize more “unconventional” beautiful women of color who are doing amazing things. Women like Michelle Obama, Melissa Harris-Perry, Regina Cater, Esperanza Spalding, Susan Rice, and Bibi McGill, are what I’ll call my “counter” role models. These are women (most of whom are accessible through the media) who appear and are just as fabulous as the Beyonces of the world. But they are different because their work speaks of more of the kinds the possibilities that are available to girls of color.
The day before yesterday, my oldest toddler told me she wanted to be a princess when she grew up, but today she said she’d like to instead be a princess violin player. Is this evidence that my “master plan” is working? Only time can tell. But that she knows that she could, if she wanted, play the violin and be fabulous, now that’s what I’m celebrating today.
Is hip-hop destroying black America? To answer this question fairly, we must first discard the distorted image of hip hop that mainstream media has passed off for the past 20 years.
Hip-hop is a movement consisting of four main artistic elements: DJ’ing, rapping, breaking and graffiti. But at its core, it is a philosophy based on the idea that self expression is an integral part of the pursuit of peace, love and unity. It was created by young visionaries who tapped into their greatest potential and gave birth to one of the most important cultural phenomenon the world has ever seen.
Shaped by the spirit of Africa, The Carribean and black America, it is a culture that binds us under the belief that we must strive for excellence through our respective art forms, as well as within our souls. It’s a lifestyle that unites people from the U.S to Nigeria, France to Brazil, Japan to Mexico, often unable to speak each other’s language but fully capable of understanding all that makes us who we are.
Read more on TheGrio.com.
Jada Pinkett has been using her Facebook page to air out all sorts of social commentaries lately. Last week, she asked why so many heterosexual women were turning to other women as a last romantic resort, on Saturday, she talked about the oppression men have been forced to endure, and on Sunday she spoke out on what she considers to be bullying towards young celebrities at the hands of the media. She wrote in her post titled, “Are We Bullying Our Young Artists,” which included a photo of Rihanna, Justin Beiber, Taylor Swift, and Quvenzhané Wallis:
How can we ask for our young stars to have a high level of responsibility if we are not demonstrating that same level of responsibility towards them?
This last week, I had to really evaluate the communication in regard to our young artists in the media. I was trying to differentiate cyber-bullying from how we attack and ridicule our young stars through media and social networks. It is as if we have forgotten what it means to be young or even how to behave like good ol’ grown folk. Do we feel as though we can say and do what we please without demonstrating any responsibility simply because they are famous?
Is it okay to continually attack and criticize a famous 19 year old who is simply trying to build a life, exercise his talents while figuring out what manhood and fame is all about as he carries the weight of supporting his family as well as providing the paychecks to others who depend on him to work so they can feed their families as well? Does that render being called a Douchebag by an adult male photographer as you try to return to your hotel after leaving the the hospital? Or what about our nine year old beautiful Oscar nominee who was referred to as a Douchebag as well? Or what about being a young woman in her early twenties, exploring the intricacies of love and power on the world stage? And should we shame a young woman for displaying a sense of innocence as she navigates through the murky waters of love, heartbreak, and fame? Are these young people not allowed to be young, make mistakes, grow, and eventually transform a million times before our eyes? Are we asking them to defy the laws of nature because of who they are? Why can’t we congratulate them for the capacity to work through their challenges on a world stage and still deliver products that keep them on top.
We all know how hard it is to keep our head above water, even in the privacy of our own homes let alone on the world stage. Imagine yourself, at their age, with the spotlights, challenges and responsibilities. Most of us would have fallen to the waste side before we could even get to a crashed Ferrari, a controversial romance, several heart breaks, or an Oscar nomination at NINE. We WISH we could have had the capacity to accomplish HALF of what they have accomplished along with ALL these challenges they face. But…maybe THAT’S the problem…we WISH we could have or even…we WISH we could.
I don’t know if I would put Rihanna in the same boat as a young actress like Quvenzhané, but I do get the point Jada is trying to make — though at some point I think we need to ask whether some of these stars have made their own beds long before the media got a hold of their rude boy behavior.
As a general rule though, name calling is never an appropriate exchange among anyone personally or professionally, particularly when there is a marked age difference between the parties, but someone needs to take it upon themselves to educate these young artists on the type of consequences that come along with acting out under such a huge spotlight. The blame can be equally split between these two parties.
What do you think about what Jada wrote?
Neck-rolling, finger-snapping, talking-back sassiness – that’s what had taken over my child’s body. I blinked rapidly showing my utter confusion. “Honey, where did you get that from?” I asked. “That’s what the little girl on Disney channel does!” was the reply.
Wow! My daughter is ONLY allowed to watch television on weekends, so I was surprised to see that just a few hours of what I thought was wholesome TV had transformed her into a mini Wendy Williams (minus the talk show and great salary). Were all the hours that I spent drilling her on being respectful and sending her to Sunday school really no match for her favorite TV program?
Evidently I’m not the only one who has gotten this reality check. According to a nationwide survey by Kaiser Family Foundation, many of our children’s lives revolve around media. Amazingly, the average American child watches six and a half to seven and a half hours of television a day (You have to wonder how they have time for school!). And then, of course, there’s Internet use and video games. All that media usage doesn’t seem to leave much time for the influence of mama, daddy or grandma, does it?
The experts say that it’s a fierce battle. The multifaceted world of media is battling us for our children’s time and attention. And obviously we parents are not always coming out as the winners. With electronic images all around, I know it’s impossible to keep my child from being influenced by the media. I don’t want my child to grow up in a bubble totally unaware of the outside world, but is there a way that I can at least get the upper hand?
But there is good news. Parental influence does matter with our children. When parents set limits on media time, watch television with their children and discuss the messages they receive (especially the ones that conflict with the values that we instill at home), the results are happier, more balanced kids. This translates into children who are able to concentrate more and have better grades.
So maybe, just maybe, there is hope that I can morph this child back into my sweet little girl.
Moms, who do you think has the biggest influence over your children’s lives – you or the media?
On Monday, McDonald’s restaurants in the New York area honored Black Media Legends and Trailblazers at a luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria. Among the honorees were CNN’s Don Lemon, The Grio and MSNBC contributor Joy-Ann Reid, and Power 105’s DJ Clue.
But the name on everyone’s lips, reports Fishbowl NY, was Sue Simmons. After 32 years as a local New York newscaster with WNBC, her contract wasn’t renewed and she left the anchor desk for the last time in June.
In an interview with the website, Simmons said that she was hoping something would happen to keep her in her job.
“The last several months from March to June was pretty much a nightmare for me,” she said. “Because after you’ve worked with your teams and your friends for that long it’s very difficult to come to terms with the fact that it’s not going to be anymore.”
She adds that she “got the feeling that they had softened their position” and was surprised when she hadn’t.
Comcast and NBC announced a merger in 2009, and it was ultimately approved by the FCC in 2011. Shiba Russell is now sharing the anchor duties with Chuck Scarborough. He has been with the broadcast since 1974. (Simmons joined in 1980).
“The positive of it is that another black person is employed in television in a high-visible spot. The negative of it for me is it looks like they’re trying to duplicate,” she says.
In the exhaustive interview with Fishbowl NY, Simmons says she’s still interested in television, but would like to try something different, like being a “talking head.”
For longtime New Yorkers (or natives, like myself), Sue Simmons was a fixture on television. It would be great to see her back on the air.
The cuts at CNN could get deeper very quickly.
Just yesterday, we reported that Soledad O’Brien has been removed from her morning anchor position, among other changes. Now, Fishbowl DC is reporting that Roland Martin and Donna Brazile could be the next two on the chopping block. The website notes that three new faces — civil rights activist Van Jones, The New York Times’ Charles Blow, and Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher — have appeared regularly on the network as of late. And both Martin and Brazile were excluded from the network’s coverage of the inauguration.
Brazile is also an ABC correspondent; Martin has a program on TV One and serves as an analyst on Tom Joyner’s program.
In other media news, Long anticipated cuts are going to be made at Time Inc., which, like many media companies, is suffering at the hands of dropping newsstand readership and advertising sales. According to Bloomberg, 500 positions are being eliminated, about six percent of the company’s workforce. Essence, Real Simple, and People are among the magazine titles at Time. Cuts are expected across all divisions.